I am writing this instead of facing the world on a rainy cold morning (NB: NZ cold is not UK cold). I have woken up just as tired as I went to sleep, and Elliot has woken up with a cold. But this is because we have just had one of the best (and most tiring) weekends of our lives. We saw many friends after a long time, ate lots of cake, helped run my besties baby shower and hosted our engagement party.
We have had an absolutely phenomenal weekend completely surrounded with love. Both Elliot and I were blown away by the number of people who came to celebrate our engagement, from different parts of our lives.
To name a few, Kirstie came all the way from France (well, we’ll claim your perfect timing Kirstie), Sammy took the overnight bus from Palmy, Nicole and Tarryn flew from the Capital, Libby, Jade and Luseane drove from Gisborne, Brogan and Tania drove from New Plymouth, Tayla, Sam, Rachael and Kimberley came from Hamilton, Simone from Te Kuiti, Mum and Papa Bern from Piopio, Luke from Ohope, Brooke from Waihi Beach, Ku’ulei from Whangarei and other travellers too. Not to mention the other hundred or so people who came from different parts of Auckland and missed other events or swapped their social calendars so they could attend (like attending on their birthday, when they are running the marathon the next morning or on their 5 year wedding anniversary!) Even those feeling under the weather popped by. Friends met at University, a range of work friends, Heart Kid friends, church friends, school friends, family (and extended family!), hostel kids, friends met in hospital and just friends from everywhere. We are completely blessed to be surrounded and supported by the BEST.
During the night, I probably managed to have 100 bit conversations with everyone. Someone would ask a question, I’d answer half a sentence… and be off with someone just arriving or leaving. I am told it is good preparation for the wedding, but for those of you who know me well I would have LOVED to have had a proper catch up with every single person. So even if i didn’t get to spend much time with you (so this is directed at all 120 people who came!) please know that both Ell and I love and appreciate you coming!
During the night we had a few speeches. Sorry I didn’t manage one, but it would have ended up in tears, because I was so happy that all my favourite people (minus a few specials who are overseas or could not attend) were altogether in one place (and the added wine always makes me emotional!) I remember the last time I felt like that was at my 21st birthday. It is a wonderful feeling to be standing in front of so many people who I love so dearly. A massive thanks to Jess Harper, for her wonderful speech and story of how she set Elliot and I up. The awkward timing of me just having open heart surgery seemed to be the perfect time to cheer me up with a boy! I am forever grateful Jess!! And to Papa Bern for your speech, we know you are so proud and happy… just don’t think of the cost of the wedding haha! Our last speech was from Mathilde, who I met through Heart Kids. This lady is amazing, she has supported me through some of the darkest times, and gives the best hugs. Thank you so much for your blessing and prayer, it is wonderful to share our faith with everyone! And of course to Elliot, you did an awesome job of thanking everyone… and yes the baby comment was a joke! Little Keirells will not be on the way quite yet! The rest of you will have to wait for more speeches at the wedding!
I am personally blown away with the number of friends I have made in the last 9 years of living in the beautiful country. Three quarters of the Ponsonby Cruising Club was filled with people who have met me in the last 4 years, so have only known me while I have been sick. I am told that this hasn’t stopped my personality from seeping through the tired sore and grumpy phase. Although everyone knows me from different stages of my life, my hope is that they still all know the “core” me, and know my heart.
One of my goals in life is to make at least three people smile a day. This is made easy because I seem to be a magnet for embarrassing events. Along with my wonderful friend Emily I am currently writing a book about these embarrassing moments called “Shit happens… mostly to me- don’t worry!” It teaches you to laugh at the not so great moments when life throws shit in your path! Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in this shit, but the most important thing is to look at what comes out from it. I have had a lot of shit in the last wee while, but standing there in front of all these amazing people I certainly counted my blessings. You all mean so much to me, no matter what role you have played in my life!
Also, a quick mention to all those who could not be there to celebrate our engagement with us! We appreciated your cards, kind words, financial gifts and love… you were all there in spirit!
So I probably should stop rambling and get on with my day. I am currently avoiding seeing people, as I get teary and feel physically sick with the thought of saying goodbye to them. My England trip is now less than a week away, but I know it is going to be amazing, and I will not lose, or forget any of the wonderful people who have been a part of my journey since I have been here. So if you are reading this and are a part of my life- from the bottom of my wonky heart T H A N K Y O U ❤